Designing Women (1986–1993)
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Friends and Husbands 

Bill gets a week's leave while Charlene and Mary Jo are writing a children's book that has a deadline.



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Episode cast overview:
Suzanne Sugarbaker
Julia Sugarbaker
Mary Jo Shively
Charlene Frazier Stillfield
Anthony Bouvier
Bernice Clifton
Col. Bill Stillfield
Randa Oliver


Bill gets a week's leave while Charlene and Mary Jo are writing a children's book that has a deadline.

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Release Date:

29 April 1991 (USA)  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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References The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) See more »

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User Reviews

Just a BAD episode of a GOOD show!!!
18 January 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

This episode, without doubt, is probably my least favorite that still had Charlene (Jean Smart) in the cast. First, at the beginning of the episode Bill (Doug Barr), Charlene's husband, is still away on military assignment. Charlene and Mary Jo (Annie Potts) had written, or had the idea for, a children's book. Julia Sugarbaker (Dixie Carter) had a publishing friend that she pitched the idea to. The publishing friend wanted them to submit a written version to her for review with a deadline of only a few days. Mary Jo had been planning on spending the weekend with her children and Charlene, since she was alone, wanted to spend the weekend working on the book. So, after Mary Jo sends her kids to her ex's house for the weekend, Bill shows up back home as a surprise. Here is where it just gets ridiculous and bad...first, Charlene isn't honest with Mary Jo about the fact that she and Bill would like sometime alone. Both she and Bill keep encouraging Mary Jo to come over and even spend the night in their spare room. This is after Mary Jo says something to the effect of "I'm sure the two of you want to be alone". With the deadline only two days away, Charlene finally tells Mary Jo that she and Bill need to be alone and they will just have to forget about the book (even though they had committed to Julia's friend to do it). Mary Jo decides, since she is alone for the weekend, to go ahead and finish the book herself. She proudly takes it over to let Charlene look at it and gets mostly criticism as Charlene starts crossing out and changing different areas. They end up in a huge argument before Bill comes down stairs and makes them make up. They both then decide to blow off their commitment and not finish the book by the deadline.

First, Charlene should have been honest about wanting some time alone with Bill. Second, she & Bill could have easily spent the nights alone together, fulfilling their desires and needs, without needing to spend the entire weekend in bed. They did, after all, make a commitment to Julia's friend to write the book AND deliver it by the deadline. After, they finished the book, Charlene and Bill could have spent the week in bed if they so desired. This show is supposed to be about successful career women and successful career women simply don't blow off such a unique opportunity just to spend the weekend in bed!!! After all, Charlene and Bill are married and presumably will have their whole lives together.

No successful person would opt to pass up a once in a lifetime opportunity just to spend the entire weekend in bed! I truly believe that most women, if capable of writing a book in the first place, could have accomplished both writing the book AND being able to be intimate with their husbands over the span of a weekend! Add to all of this that Charlene was not only throwing away the opportunity for herself but also for her best friend.

As I said, in my opinion, this was just a VERY BAD episode!

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